Posted by: Mahdi Ebrahimi | December 30, 2007

Synthetic substances used in organic production set to expire

The National Organic Program (NOP) Friday said several substances used in organic crop production as algicide, disinfectants and sanitizer will no longer be allowed by the end of next year, unless renewed by the Secretary of Agriculture.

The NOP, part of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), said in a Federal Register notice that the sunset review and renewal process of 11 exempted substances and one prohibited substance – including animal enzymes, ozone gas, and cellulose – added to the National List in 2003 must be concluded by Nov. 3.

The agency is asking for public comments by Jan. 28 on its advance notice of proposed rule-making regarding continuing the exemptions and prohibitions for the substances.

The National List identifies synthetic substances (synthetics) that are exempted (allowed) and non-synthetic substances (non-synthetics) that are prohibited in organic crop and livestock production. It also identifies non-synthetics and synthetics that are exempted for use in organic handling.

Exempted and prohibited substances are required to be reviewed every five years by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), which recommends organic policy to the NOP.

The synthetic substances set to expire next year include copper sulfate, Ozone gas, Peracetic acid, and EPA List 3 Inerts.

The notice also said that the non-synthetic substance calcium chloride – currently prohibited from use in organic crop production, except as a foliar spray to treat a physiological disorder associated with calcium uptake – will be allowed after Nov. 3.

“This also means that agar-agar, carageenan, and tartaric acid, currently allowed for use in organic handling, will be prohibited after [Nov. 3],” the notice read.

An emailed request for clarification from the NOP was not immediately returned.

Tartaric acid was inadvertently included in the 2007 sunset process and recommended for renewal by the NOSB. However, because the substance was not scheduled to sunset until Oct. 31, 2008, it was not included in the
2007 sunset proposed rule.

Since it will be considered during the current review process, the NOSB said it will consider comments previously submitted in response to the 2007 sunset ANPR for tartaric acid.

The NOP also said that animal enzymes, calcium sulfate, glucono delta lactone, and cellulose, currently allowed for use in organic handling, will no longer be allowed for use after next November, unless renewed for use by the agency. Animal enzymes include: rennet–animals derived; catalase–bovine liver; animal lipase; pancreatin; pepsin; and trypsin.




  1. I read your posts for a long time and must tell you that your posts are always valuable to readers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: